Barry Behrman Passes at Age 70

Barry Behrman

Barry Behrman, the founder and promoter of the U.S. Open 9-Ball Championships, passed away today at age 70. Mr. Behrman opened Q-Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA, 45 years ago and held his first U.S Open Championship after having been inspired by the tournaments he saw at Bill “Beenie-Weenie” Staton’s Jack and Jill Billiards in Arlington, VA. His very first champion was mIke Sigel and Sigel went on to win three times over the next eight years to affirm his status as a true champion of pocket billiards.

Mr. Behrman announced his retirement as the promoter of the U.S. Open in 2015. Some health issues followed fairly quickly, some serious ones stemming from a stubborn infection that would not respond to antibiotics. His official cause of death today has not as yet been announced but he had been mostly hospitalized since January with a lot of time spent in Intensive Care.

Mr. Behrman grew Q-Master Billiards into the largest pool room in America and nurtured the original 16-man U.S. Open Championship field into the biggest and most important event in North America, sometimes showcasing fields of over 200 players. The event began at Q-Master Billiards but soon outgrew that venue and was held for a number of years at the Holiday Inn of Chesapeake before moving to it’s longest-running home, the Chesapeake Convention Center. The latest home of the event was the Sheraton Waterside in Norfolk.

Mr. Behrman was certainly one of the most colorful and sometimes controversial figures in the game. He was the consummate promoter and was always on the phone to friends around the world pushing to draw more players, more fans and to provide new attractions for those fans. His events sometimes included trick shot exhibitions and pipe and drum corps and he was always willing to try new things to improve his product. He sometimes promised more than he could immediately deliver, but in the end he always delivered.

Barry Behrman is survived by his son, Brady, and his daughter, Shannon Behrman Paschall.

The U.S. Open 9-Ball Championship will continue under the supervision of Pat Fleming of Accu-Stats Video Productions.